A husband murdered his wife, stuffed her body in the back of a car and drove her to a makeshift grave with their children sat just inches away from their dead mothers body.
Christopher Kerrell, 35, bludgeoned wife Hollie with a hammer and strangled her in the kitchen of their home on April 22 before drinking a cup of tea and cleaning up the crime scene.
The 35-year-old, who is a machine operator, tied her body in old clothes, plastic bags and bedsheets before dumping her in a shallow countryside grave.
A court heard he drove her body in the boot of his Vauxhall Astra while his three young children were sat in the back.
He then used a tractor and dug a grave on remote land owned by his family.
Kerrell tried to cover his tracks by joining a missing persons appeal for wife Hollie, 28, and saying she had left the family home.
A huge police search was launched for Hollie when she disappeared and her body was discovered four days later at a countryside spot six miles away from her family home in Knighton Powys.
Kerrell has now been jailed for 25 years for her murder.
Prosecutor Peter Lewis QC said: Kerrell brutally murdered his estranged wife Hollie in the kitchen of her own home. He did so while his three young children were nearby and under her care.
He killed her in a savage attack he hit her in the head with a hammer which he had brought into the house and then strangling her.
He bludgeoned her to the right side of her head and then, having knocked her down, he sat astride her and began to choke the life from her body.
He was later to tell police it took 10 minutes to throttle her.
When he was sure she was dead he drank a cup of tea before cleaning up her blood.
He made a determined effort to cover up what he had done and wrapped her body in plastic bags and old clothes and trussed her up.
He bound her in a foetal position to make her smaller and easier to dispose of.
He dumped her in the boot of his Astra car.
He buried her in a shallow grave on remote farmland belonging to his family.
He started about laying a false trail within minutes of her murder. He began to contact friends and family saying he was concerned for Hollie and he was trying to find her.
He said she had left him and taken her clothes with her.
He continued life as normal: visiting shops and supermarkets, talking to friends and family on the telephone and taking the children on the school run on the day after he had murdered their mother.
The young children must have been asking where their mother was and he must have been spinning his own children the very same lie – that she had left them.
Having cleaned the kitchen of his wifes blood he then prepared and gave the children their lunch.
He then drove some six miles in the car to his mothers car, with the children in the back and Hollies body in the boot.
At the farm he left the children with his mother, he further wrapped her body in plastic sheets and placed her body in the grab of a tractor digger.
He drove to a remote and secluded part of the farm and quickly buried her in a shallow grave.
He picked the spot with care – it was some way from the farm and was not visible from the road.
Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court heard Kerrell had become jealous and possessive as Hollie had started a new relationship
Hollie and Christopher Kerrell had been married for five years and had three children together.
But the court heard Hollie and her husband had separated in the weeks leading up to her disappearance and she had began seeing someone else.
Christopher Kerrell had moved out of the family home in and was living with his mother and aunt nearby.
But when Hollies disappearance was reported Kerrell appealed on Facebook for people to join the search and phoned family members to say she had vanished.
Mr Lewis added: He was cynical and calculating.
Six months on from the murder he has given no explanation for it, the only explanation can be his jealousy and possessiveness.
In a victim statement, Hollies mum Claire Heaney told Kerrell: Because of you I had to tell my grandchildren their mummy was dead and daddy was in prison because he hurt mummy so bad she had died.
You took my soulmate from me and carved out my heart. You changed the axis on what my world turned I will never get over this.
Kerrell, of Knighton, Powys, first denied to police that he had attacked Hollie but later admitted it in police interview and pleaded guilty to murder.
Gordon Cole QC, defending, said Kerrell was suffering a depressive disorder at the time of the murder ans said: He expresses contrition and remorse.